Switzerland to spend over 11 billion francs on countering traffic jams
The Federal Council has announced that it will be investing an extra 11,6 billion Swiss francs into roads and motorways in Switzerland by 2030, in an effort to reduce traffic jams in the country. The government predicted that if nothing is done, 20 percent of the national road network will be overloaded by 2040, especially around Swiss cities.
Major highway expansion in Switzerland announced
At a press conference on February 22, the Federal Council confirmed that it would be spending 11,6 billion francs more on expanding the national road network in Switzerland between now and 2030, along with an extra 8,8 billion francs on maintenance. National roads refer to streets controlled by the federal government, like the motorway system. The majority of the money will be used to “improve the flow of traffic" so that drivers do not find themselves in traffic jams as often.
“The national roads make an important contribution to the transport development of Switzerland. They relieve the downstream road network of the cantons, cities and municipalities and thus create space to enable public transport and cycling and [allow authorities] to improve road safety,” the council wrote in a statement. “The Federal Council intends to further increase the availability and safety of national roads and make a contribution to making road traffic more tolerable.”
Switzerland faces gridlock by 2040 if nothing is done
The funding plan follows a recent report by the government which found that around 453 kilometres or around 20 percent of Switzerland’s motorways will be regularly overloaded by 2040. In addition, on 170 kilometres of highway, two to four-hour-long traffic jams will occur every day if nothing is done, with the majority of disruption expected around major cities like Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Bern.
The majority of the expansion will involve adding extra lanes to the highway network, and installing improved road safety and control systems like smart speed limits. In addition, the Federal Council has earmarked sections of roads that need to be expanded immediately. These are:
- A1 between Wankdorf and Schönbühl
- A1 between Schönbühl and Kirchberg
- The Rosenberg tunnel in St. Gallen (A1)
- The Rhine tunnel in Basel (A2)
- The Fäsenstaub tunnel in Schaffhausen (A4)
Authorities hope that each of these projects will be ready and approved in the next four years. In total, as part of its Strategic National Roads Development Programme, the government is set to spend around 34,1 billion francs on roads in the coming years. The Federal Council has now sent the proposal to parliament for final approval. For more information, please consult the official press release.
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